Friday, August 26, 2011

Efficiency Gains in Beef Production Mean Fewer Cattle, More Meat

The U.S. cattle and calves inventory as of January 1, 2011 was the lowest since 1958. When evaluated on a year-over-year basis, the inventory has continued to decline through 2011, with declines fueled by drought in the Southern Plains and Southeastern United States. Beef production, however, has trended upward over the past several decades. Higher slaughter weights and efficiency gains have resulted in increasing beef production even as cattle inventories have declined. However, beef production too is expected to decline in 2012.
source: usda

1 comment:

  1. Is this due to more feedlot beef and therefore less time to gain weight? It doesn't seem possible that slaughter weights are so much higher to account for the ratio.

    I am thinking the graph is a snapshot of the herd size at any one time, not the total animals slaughtered to yield the quantity of meat.

    If so, much of the efficiency is a time efficiency and probably a feed to gain ratio efficiency. Wonder what energy efficiency would look like? Similar or not as remarkable?